The exploratory work into the establishment of a facility to help channel aid money to trade programmes in Pacific Island Forum countries has been initiated.
The Federated States of Micronesia has become the 10th country to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility.
The director of the economic governance programme at the Forum Secretariat says it now provides the platform to start work on setting up the facility, which will take the form of a management structure.
Shiu Raj says it would allow for the channeling of Aid for Trade Resources towards the Forum countries' trade related needs.
"The intention is to development trade to deal with economic growth which will subsequently lead to elimination of poverty and building the capacity of the forum island countries. An effective way of chanelling aid is to help the forum island countries build their capacity for sustainable trade."
Shiu Raj anticipates more Forum Island countries will sign up to the MOU.